Forever in love with mountains

Seema Sharma
Tribune News Service
Dehradun, January 14

An interaction with Principle of the National Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) of Uttarkashi LP Sharma by a mere chance changed the course of life of Dr Harshwanti Bisht, who is now serving as the Principle of Government Degree College at Doiwala. She stays in Dehradun.

She went on to scale the Nanda Devi peak (7816 mt) and received prestigious Arjuna Award in 1984 for her expedition. She established a nursery for birch leaves (Bhojpatra) at Chirvasa in 1991 and replenished the denuded jungles of Bhojwasa with 12,000 new plantations.

She is resolute, rugged and compassionate like mountains.

Being the fourth child among seven of an army officer, she was never differentiated on the basis of gender or any other bias.

She began her career as a lecturer, took up a mountaineering course during vacation and also pursued PhD in Tourism in the Garhwal Himalayas, all side by side.

Her mountaineering stint began with easy Black Peak. Encouraged by the first success, she cleared the test for Nanda Devi by scaling Gangotri-1 (6,672 mt) and ascended Nanda Devi (7,816 mt) in 1981, a feat which has never been repeated by any other woman. [more]